The relationship between grace and holiness is a delicate balance. If your life misses this balance, you will struggle throughout your spiritual walk. If we loose sight of grace or neglect the purpose of God's grace, you will carry the weight of despair on your back. Symptoms of missing grace are legalism, spiritual burn out, or an unhealthy feeling of unworthiness that drives people away from God and into the dungeon of guilt. Symptoms of a life missing holiness is a disregard for God's purposes, free-fall indulgences into sin and a view that forgiveness on the cross is a license to sin freely. Both these views are equally unhealthy and both will rob anyone of freedom in Christ and the abundant life God designed for each person's life.
Can we fall beyond the reach of His grace? Can we use up all of our chances? Can we freely sin without fear of being held in account? Will Christians be judged for their sins? It is vital that we understand the answers to these questions and understand the principles of scripture that answer these questions. I think we must first understand what makes us righteous before God, we must understand how God produces fruit in our lives and we must understand God's plan for dealing with our sins.
What makes us righteous?
To understand what makes us righteous, we have to understand what does not make us righteous. Good works and good deeds cannot produce righteousness. Isaiah 64:6 gives the best explanation when the Bible says that all our righteous acts are like vile, filthy rages before God. The Bible uses the strongest terminology possible here. The Hebrew translation loses the impact that was intended to conjure descriptions that are intended to turn our stomachs. The intent is clear, nothing we can do can get beyond our sin and therefore we can never earn God's favor by good deeds. Righteousness is not something that we can create, but it must be imputed or credited to our ...
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